No previous study has identified the specific brands of guns owned by gun owners. This study aimed to: (1) ascertain and describe patterns of brand- and model-specific gun ownership among US gun owners; and (2) investigate the relationship between gun owners’ brand and model preferences and their attitudes towards common firearm violence prevention policies.
Using a national, pre-recruited internet panel of US adults in 2019, we surveyed gun owners (N = 2086) to ascertain their opinions regarding firearm violence prevention policies and to assess the brands and models of guns that they owned.
Brand-specific gun ownership was highly concentrated and was dominated by three pistol brands, two revolver brands, three rifle brands, and three shotgun brands. There was wide variation in policy attitudes among owners of different gun brands, but little variation across owners of different gun types (i.e., pistols, rifles, revolvers, shotguns). We were able to identify the specific gun models owned by 1218 (59.4%) of the gun owners. Based on the classification of these gun models into three types we categorized the gun ownership pattern of the sample as 33.4% recreational, 45.5% self-defense, and 21.1% tactical. There were marked differences in support for firearm-related policies among the three groups, with support generally highest among the Recreation group and lowest among the Tactical group.
We conclude that gun brands and models are strong predictors of a gun owner’s attitudes regarding firearm-related policies. This information could help public health practitioners develop segment-specific communications that will appeal to each group in order to more effectively engage gun owners in firearm violence prevention.